A brace of Times Higher Education Awards nominations for Leicester

University shortlisted for Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and DataPoints Merit Award

The University of Leicester has been shortlisted in two categories for this year’s prestigious Times Higher Education Awards.

Work led by Professor Lisa Smith in the Department of Criminology in collaboration with colleagues in Genetics and Genome Biology has garnered a nomination for Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. They have been working on forensic DNA evidence collection kits for tackling sexual violence in low-resource environments.

In low-resource environments, such as areas experiencing armed conflict, displaced communities and humanitarian emergencies, it is well-documented that sexual violence occurs at alarming rates and has devastating impacts on communities, families, and individuals. These cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute, often because of a lack of available evidence. Professor Smith’s project is investigating alternative DNA recovery techniques to overcome the technical and cultural barriers which currently exist in these regions.

And for the second year in a row the University has been nominated for THE DataPoints Merit Award. For this award, the THE uses its World University Rankings data to compare institutions’ reputation scores with their research performance.

Last year’s award, which used a “bang for the buck” measure of research performance in a bid to discover which UK universities were producing the highest-quality research given their income, went to the University of Leicester. This year’s criteria are still a mystery, with all to be revealed on 29 November when the awards are presented at a ceremony in London.